Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 04/30/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

I Would Be Stronger Than That
Faith Hill, Artist
Faith Hill & Gary Burr, Writers

There's a friend who will call
When her husband's asleep
Crossing the phone lines for comfort
And she cries that she needs him and
Someday he'll change
And now's not a good time to go
And it isn't my place to say leave him and run
That no love is worth all the damage he's done
But if she'll hold her ground
Then I'll hold my tongue
Ever the diplomat
Oh, I'd like to think
That I would be stronger than that

Where's her head
Where's her nerve
Does part of her think this is all she deserves
Oh, I would be stronger
I would not stay one minute longer
I would be stronger than that

It started out good they usually do
Then one day it's taken for granted
'Til words become weapons and love turns to pain
Oh, why is she still holding on
She says living without him is too hard to face
And I try to imagine myself in her place
But with well chosen words and well placed tears
She forgives him in two seconds flat
Oh, I'd like to think
That I would be stronger than that

Where's her head
Where's her nerve
Does part of her think this is all she deserves
Oh, I would be stronger
I would not stay one minute longer
I would be stronger than that

I know what she's thinking and I know what she'd say
That my life and her life are like night and like day
And her love is the love that will save him
Brave words but I don't believe them

Where's her head
Where's her nerve
Does part of her think this is all she deserves
Oh, I would be stronger
I would not stay one minute longer
I would be stronger than that

Oh, I would be stronger
I would not wait one minute longer
I would be stronger than that

A to Z Challenge - Z

A zoom lens is one which has an adjustable focal length, as opposed to a prime lens, which has one set focal length.Some zoom lenses have adjustable aperture, and others have a set aperture. Those with a set aperture cost considerably more!

Zipping it all up...

This  month has been really cool playing with my new camera, watching an outrageous number of YouTube videos, paging through photography books from the library, and then sharing all the new information with my wonderful readers! I was very surprised at the response I got, as it seems they actually learned something!  My only regret is that I wasn't able to get more photographs included in the posts....just so much going on.


For anyone who is interested in hearing more from me (what, are you crazy?!), learning more about photography, or watching my skills develop (hopefully!!), I have decided to start another blog.

You can find my photography exploits at:


Come check it out and support my efforts to become a real photographer!

Thanks for following my A to Z Challenge!


Monday, April 29, 2013

A to Z Challenge - Y

"When you adjust the lens or film standard of a large format camera by tilting it sideways and then follow by applying swing to the same standard you’ll find that it will not be parallel in any axis to the other standard. To ensure sharp focus you then need to make multiple adjustments. A camera with yaw free movements allows the photographer to tilt and swing either standard without having to re-adjust after..."

Meaning, I have a lot more to learn!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A to Z Challenge - X

X is a tough one!

The X-sync is the socket on an external flash that ensure that the flash will go off when the shutter opens.  This begs the question, external flash?!

The in camera flash isn't a great flash... It tends to be very close to your subject and often washes out your photo. Some cameras do enable you to control not only turning it on or off, but also the percentage of brightness. And, of course, you can always utilize various tools to try to defuse the light from the flash, to soften it.

But, generally, a photographer may want to utilize external flash. An external flash can be attached to your camera as needed and many come with the ability to focus the light either on the subject (disfused or not) or to focus the light on another object, such as a wall or white sheet, which will enable the lit to bounce off and hit the subject in a softer, less direct manner.

You can also utilize multiple flash units (attached to the camera or not) which can give a photographer, for example, backlight. In this case, the X-sync would enable the flash to go off in a timely manner to coincide with the shot.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A to Z Challenge - W

Artificial (non-sunlight) light comes in many forms, fluorescent, tungsten, etc. Each type of light has  a different "color temperature" - fluorescent light is very harsh and almost greenish, tungsten tends to be more orange or yellow. Our eyes compensate for those differences and try to make everything neutral. Cameras doe not have that ability and record the light color exactly as it truly is. So, in photography, you will often hear the term white balance

White balance enables you to adjust the color temperature of the actual lighting to be more appealing to the eye in a final photograph. Generally speaking, white balance is an issue than can be more easily dealt with after the photo has been downloaded into a photography program on a computer (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.) as you will be better able to see the quality, but it can be done on the camera before the photo is shot. Some cameras have manual white balance control, where you select the type of lighting from a list, but most adjust the color automatically

Thursday, April 25, 2013

You Love Me...You Really, Really Love Me!!

I am the proud recipient of the blogger-to-blogger Liebster Award! Who better to give blogger awards than another blogger, who understands what I do and why I do it?!  Thank you kindly to Madeline at Reincarnated as a Writer for acknowledging me! Madeline found me via the A to Z Challenge.

The Liebster Award is a blog 'award' that is passed around from one blogger to another, with some rules...

The rest of the rules are:
I have to give 11 random facts about me
I have to answer the 11 questions the presenter of the award has asked
I have to nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award, they must have fewer than 200 followers
I have to ask my nominees 11 new questions of my own

11 facts about me:
  • 1. I am a beginning photographer... All A to Z Challenge advice should be taken with a grain of salt!
  • 2. I am starting a new photography blog, visit at PhotoLAgraphy
  • 3. I have too many hobbies, none of which produce income...yet!
  • 4. I love building websites, though I have no training, and am always looking for new projects to test my skills. Check out my work at Purely Vocals.
  • 5. I work at a University, in a science department. This makes absolutely no sense as I am NOT a science person!
  • 6. At work, I have gotten the opportunity to utilize my creative skills (writing, photography and social media). It has been wonderful!
  • 7. I must own somewhere around 50 sweater sets (tank and cardigan), easy and layered. They have become my 'style'.
  • 8. I much prefer summer!
  • 9. I do not have biological children (though I have two step-daughters)...I do not regret this decision at all!
  • 10. The show I am producing at The Footlight Club is starting rehearsals and is looking to be awesome. The cast and crew are amazing and talented and very nice people to boot. I am excited to see it!
  • 11. I am also excited to pull back from my theater work to focus on photography and Purely Vocals.
Madeline asks:
  • 1. How much do you like your steak cooked? (If you don't eat steak, what is your favourite equivalent?) "Medium-rare", except that its usually undercooked, so truthfully Medium-well"
  • 2. Tea, coffee or something else? Something else...My blood runs Diet Dr. Pepper!
  • 3. How much was your first pay-packet for, and what was the job? Uh...what is a pay-packet? Do you mean pay-check? I don't recall, probably a couple hundred dollars. I was working at a Mexican-American restaurant called El Torito's.
  • 4. Favourite film, and why? Life As A House, very touching
  • 5. How long does it take you to read an average length novel? As a book blogger, you would think not much...but honestly, I am a slow reader so a few days at least, depending on how busy I am with "out-of-book" commitments.
  • 6. Was your school co-educational or single sex, and do you think that was the better option? Co-Ed, public school, boys and girls...definitely good!
  • 7. Which emotion do you feel the most easily/most often? Do you enjoy it? Lonely, sometimes yes, sometimes no. I like my private, quiet time...but don't always enjoy being alone.
  • 8. Has anything out-of-the-ordinary wonderful ever happened to you? Can you tell us about it? Many things. Life is a blessing often!  I have sung for the Red Sox at Fenway Park and been paid to travel to Ireland to sing as well. I was picked in college to sing with Mariah Carey (unfortunately, the concert was changed, but it was nice to be asked). After 42 years, I married the most annoying, frustrating man...who is absolutely and totally perfect for me. I am blessed to share my life with the most amazing kitty-soul in the world (even my "non-cat" friends have agreed). I could go on and on.
  • 9. Left or right handed? Right. I can twirl a baton with my left...that's about it.
  • 10. What's your favourite kind of holiday? One with lots of family and friends stopping by, but low expectations (think Thanksgiving, not Christmas)
  • 11) Do you have a pet, what is it, or if not, why not? I do, many fish (20+) and my diva-kitty, who is my world. I cannot imagine life without pets. They have always been there and, I expect, always will. Unfortunately, hubby is allergic to dogs...or I'd have 20 of those too!

 The 11 bloggers I am nominating to take over the Liebster award:

Now, my questions which my nominees must answer:
  • 1. What is your blog about and why should readers come visit?
  • 2. Where can readers find your blog?
  • 3. Why/how did you get into blogging?
  • 4. What do you do when you are not blogging?
  • 5. What is the last book you read and did you like it?
  • 6. Are you involved in the arts (visual art, music, theater, writing, etc.) and in what way?
  • 7. Do you have any other special talents (touching the tip of your nose with your tongue or juggling fire batons, for example)?
  • 8. If you could achieve only one major goal during the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • 9.What is your biggest pet-peeve?
  • 10. How much wood would a wood chuck chuck, if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
  • 11. Honestly, who let the dogs out?

Thank you to my nominator (again), to my 11 nominees, to my awesome followers who keep coming back, and to all the readers who stopped by for the A to Z Challenge!

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A to Z Challenge - V

There are two ways to plan/frame/view your subjects before taking the shot. You can set your camera to "live" mode, which makes your LCD screen active or you can look through the viewfinder, or eyepiece. Most photographers prefer the latter as viewfinders give a more realistic view of your photo. LCD tend to distort what will be the final photograph, colors are off, etc.

Most SLR cameras have accurate through the lens viewing, so what you see is what the lens sees.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013



Your beloved son, an intelligent Ivy-League student, suddenly disappears. He walks out of the door of his apartment one evening and is gone. He left his phone, his wallet, his ID. He left no messages or explanations, no way to get in touch with him. He is just gone.


Your efforts to find him have been fruitless. Police, internet, media all useless. You even make a video, remembering good times as he was inclined to sadness/depression, and post it to a website you have put up in hopes that he will see it and will be inspired to call home, to let you know he is fine.  Until he returns your world is shattered.


A horrific event of evil and hatred occurs. It sends the entire country into a tailspin. How could someone be so cruel?! So evil?! Who has done this terrible thing? Who could do so a thing?

And then, just when you thought it couldn't get worse...the unthinkable happens. Suddenly, it is your son's name being connected to these horrible events! How could anyone think that?! Never... Not possible!

And you are correct, it wasn't him. But though the evil doers are found, your son is not. He is still unaccounted for, missing. Apologies are offered, but yet nothing changes. All eyes are on the evil doers, but no one is helping find your son...

This is what has occurred to the family of Sunil "Sunny" Tripathi.  On March 16th, Sunil left the apartment he shared with friends in Providence and walked into the night. He never returned. When the horrific events at the 2013 Boston Marathon occurred, one of the first names to hit the Twitter waves, Facebook and other social media...was Sunil's. School mates said the bombers "looked like him" and those small comments spread, and spread, and spread. And though it was ultimately retracted and apologies made...Sunali has not yet been found and his family has nothing to look upon but days worth of accusatory twitter feeds naming their son as a bomber.

"The story surrounding the false identification of Sunil Tripathi is a cautionary reminder of how the pervasive reach of social media can be used for both good and bad. It is an insight, too, of how prejudice might cloud judgement and reason." - The Independent, Andrew Buncombe

Update: Sadly, the body was pulled from a Rhode Island river a couple of days ago was, in fact, this boy who had such a future ahead of him, this young man mistaken for another. 

Please pray for his family and friends.

A to Z Challenge - U

UV Filters are used to prevent ultraviolet light (UV) from getting into and affecting your photographs. UV filters reduce haziness and fogginess in your photos, as well as give you generally a sharper image.

Though newer digital cameras tend to be less sensitive to UV wavelengths, due to their low cost and lack of effect on the exposure of the shot photographers still tend to use them to them.

However, some UV filters have a coating that may introduce lens flare and have an adverse impact on contrast and sharpness, especially when a strong light source is present.

Most importantly, UV Filters provide an extra bit of protection for your camera lenses. Its much nicer to replace a $20 filter than a $500 lens!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 04/23/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

Popular, Wicked
Kristin Chenowith, Artist

Elphie, now that we're friends, I've decided to make you my new project!

You really don't have to do that...

I know, that's what makes me so nice!

Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I,
And let's face it, who isn't less fortunate than I?
My tender heart tends to start to bleed.
And when someone needs a makeover,
I simply have to take over!
I know, I know exactly what they need!

And even in your case,
Though it's the toughest case I've yet to face,
Don't worry, I'm determined to succeed!
Follow my lead,
And yes indeed, you will be...

You're gonna be popular!
I'll teach you the proper poise,
When you talk to boys,
Little ways to flirt and flounce,
I'll show you what shoes to wear!
How to fix your hair!
Everthing that really counts to be...

I'll help you be popular!
You'll hang with the right cohorts,
You'll be good at sports,
Know the slang you've got to know.
So let's start,
'Cause you've got an awfully long way to go!

Don't be offended by my frank analysis,
Think of it as personality dialysis,
Now that I've chosen to become a
Pal, a sister and advisor,
There's nobody wiser!
Not when it comes to...

I know about popular.
and with an assist from me,
to be who you'll be,
instead of dreary who you were...
Well, are.
There's nothing that can stop you,
from becoming popu-ler... lar...

la la, la la!
We're gonna make you pop-u-lar!

When I see depressing creatures,
With unprepossessing features,
I remind them on their own behalf
To - think - of
Celebrated heads of state,
Or specially great communicators!
Did they have brains or knowledge?
Don't make me laugh!

They were POPULAR!
It's all about popular.
It's not about aptitude,
It's the way you're viewed,
So it's very shrewd to be,
Very very popular
like ME!

Why, Miss Elphaba, look at you. you're beautiful!

I, I have to go...

You're welcome...

And though you protest,
Your disinterest,
I know clandestinely,
You're gonna grin and bear it!
Your new found popularity!

La la, la la!
You'll be popular!
Just not quite as popular as ME!

A to Z Challenge - T

We've discussed several areas of composition and technique for photography: rules of thirds, balancing a photograph's subject/s, using color carefully and intentionally, and perspective. The hardest part of photography is, of course, keeping all things in mind  when looking at a subject while also setting exposure to get a great picture.

As you practice taking photos, there are some additional techniques you can consider which will make your photographs even more exciting... 

Leading Lines/Shapes - Use the lines/shapes of a subject (a country road, a row of trees, a pier on a lake, etc.) in your picture to lead or draw a viewer's eye to create movement and depth in a photograph.

Frames - Frame your photo's main subject with another piece of your picture, for example instead of taking a landscape view of a sunset, try taking a photograph of it through an open a doorway or window. This will frame the actual subject, the sunset, while adding to your photograph overall.

S Curves -  Similar to leading lines, use the S shape curve of a river or stream to guide your viewers' eyes along the photo.  Again, this creates movement and depth in your photo, which makes it more dynamic. A note to keep in mind: if the S curve starts in the lower left corner and exits the upper right corner, the picture will feel that it is moving away from you. But if it starts in the upper left corner coming down to the lower right, the picture seems to be coming towards the viewer.

Pattern/Texture - Do not hesitate to play with these in your photographs. Texture in a photograph can provide a 3-D feel (depth) to a 2-D scene.

Most importantly, remember that photography rules are made to be broken! Learn the rules well enough to know when and how to break them and then experiment like crazy!  Imagine the bride's face when that first photographer told her to turn away from the camera and face the mirror?! And now, that shot is a classic!

Don't be afraid to break the rules, just make the decision to so intentionally and thoughtfully.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A to Z Challenge - S

Shutter speed is the third major exposure setting that a photographer can adjust on his/her camera. Shutter speed, boils down to the amount of time your camera's blades (or eyelids) are open and therefore allowing light in to effect your picture.  The longer the shutter is open, the more light that gets in. The less time its open, the less light that gets in...pretty simple.

But what does that mean for your photographs?

In general, you want to use a faster shutter speed. The reason for that is the longer the camera's eyes are open, the longer the camera has to notice movement (both in the subject and in the hands holding the camera).  But there are cases where you would want to slow your shutter speed down...if you want to see the blue of movement, someone running by or water flowing, for example. You may also find that you are shooting in a very low light situation and slowing the shutter speed may enable you to pick up some extra light (of course, there are other ways to do this using aperture and extra light/flash, but maybe they won't work for other reasons).

Remember talking about quick-release platforms for tripods the other day? Well, this is why you need to use a tripod! If you lower your shutter speed and the shutter stays open longer, suddenly the camera is picking up the shake in your hand-held camera and your picture comes out blurry! Bleh!! By using a tripod, you are able to slow the shutter speed and still get the picture you want (whether a non-blurry, low-light photograph or an intentionally blurred shot).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Salon - 04/21/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.

Well folks,

As everyone has heard, it's been a crazy, chaotic week here in Massachusetts!

Monday was such a beautiful day. Everyone was psyched for the Patriot's Day holiday (well, those who had off), and the Marathon was looking to be a wonderful time. I planned to go in and take pictures for the A to Z Challenge, but got a slow start. I watched the winners come in via TV, then showered and headed out.  But there was no parking at the T and rather than making the drive to another T station, I turned towards home.

When I got here, I headed to the lake down the street. After an hour or so my phone rang and my husband told me that he was just glad to hear my voice. Being totally zoned out, I asked him what he was talking about and he told me about the bombings. I was floored and returned home to watch hours of news about the horrific events and frantically follow Facebook awaiting word of friends.

The rest of the week was pretty much a fog.

But business had to go on. I had a big event on Thursday at work and started production of my show just a few hours afterwards. Honestly, I got home late and barely paid attention to the news about the MIT shooting and went to bed early.

Friday morning, I was awakened by a Tufts emergency notice that the T was shut down. Weird, I thought. Why are they telling us that? I turned on the television to learn about all the horrible happenings of Thursday night, beginning with an alleged convenience store hold up (not actually related), the MIT shooting, the shoot out in Watertown (a town I worked in just a few years back!) and the eventual manhunt.

As the morning went on Tufts, and pretty much all colleges and businesses in the area, closed for the day. Everyone holed up at home (per the governor's instructions) and many hours later, they found the man/child who took part in the planning and execution of the horrible events Monday and took him into custody.

Needless to say...it's been an exhausting week emotionally, mentally, and physically. I am, quite frankly, glad it's over! Even when time was available, I could barely focus on reading and therefore, not a lot got done. I spent Friday spring cleaning (nervous cleaning is very productive!).

Tonight I sat down and was finally able to focus for more than a few minutes. It is nice that things are finally a bit more normal...at least for some of us.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A to Z Challenge - R

Most amateur photographers will aim their camera at their subject (a friend, child, pet), center that subject in the screen and shoot. While this gets the job done, it is a bit boring.

In photography, another key of composition and technique is called the rule of thirds.

Imagine a tic-tac-toe board on your picture or subject. The strongest point/s of that picture photographically is/are not, in fact, the center...but the four points where the lines meet. The next strongest points are the lines themselves. By putting your subjects off center, you create movement and life in your photographs, while centering an object often makes it appear flat and lifeless.

So, when composing your next photo keep this in mind and play with it.
An unrealized success!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A to Z Challenge - Q

A quick-release platform is a feature on many tripods that enable cameras to be removed quickly and easily. In fact, it usually attaches to the camera base and is removed with the camera as needed.

The convenience of such a thing is clear. If you are taking pictures using a tripod and just can't get the shot you want, you can quickly remove the camera, take the shot, and then return the camera as needed.

But why, you ask, use a tripod at all?! I am glad you asked. Tripods are used to minimize shake or blur in photographs. This is especially true when you are adjusting your exposure and need to reduce your shutter speed...

In a few days, we will be discussing shutter speed more thoroughly, come back to learn more and understand why reducing your shutter speed might cause blur.

If you purchase a quick release platform for you camera, make sure that your locking device is strong enough that it will hold the weight of your telephoto lenses!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A to Z Challenge - P

Perspective is one of the keys to photography composition and technique.

The term is fairly obvious, perspective is the view or direction from which you are taking a picture. But perspective can be used to a photographer's advantage if it is an artistic decision.

For example, a picture in which you are looking down on someone or something will make them look and feel smaller, or diminutive.Vise versa, a photo which is taken so that someone or something is looking down on you can make that subject powerful and almighty.

Perspective can also be fun! Check out these examples of using perspective artistically:



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A to Z Challenge - O

A one-shot camera is another name for a point-and-shoot type camera (Polaroid, cheap disposables, etc.). These cameras are used by thousands of takers-of-pictures as they are easy to use, take little knowledge or skill to utilize, and are often cheap.

These cameras do not, usually, offer any control over a photo's exposure (aperture, ISO, shutter speed) or lighting. Flash is usually automatic and can not be turned off.

For the person trying to grab a quick picture of a vacation spot or a memory of a child's first day of school, one-shot cameras are fine. But for any photographer who has an interest in learning additional skills and tricks of photography, these cameras will quickly become boring.

Point & shoot...would be nice with blurred background (wider aperture)

See what I mean?!

Siri And Me - Milgrim

Dave has fallen in love.  He has never met anyone like Siri, who is kind, helpful, generous, smart! She is Dave's perfect woman...except for the fact that she is an electronic help application accessed via his iPhone.

But is she?!

Siri may just be more than that, as she proves to lead Dave to a real woman who might actually fulfill his life before Apple's newest release comes out and Siri goes away.

Siri & Me by David Milgrim is a love story for the new millenium, adorably cute, entertaining and a moral to boot.  Well worth the read.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 04/16/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

Fairytale Lover
UTFO, Artist
Kangol Kid, Howie Tee, Full Force, Writers

They say if you believe in fairy tales
Your love will never fail.
If this myth is true
Sweetheart, you know what we should do...

Be like Alice in Wonderland,
Jack and Jill holdin' hands
And every afternoon
We can watch the cows jump over the moon
And if it happens to get cold
We can take a walk down the Yellow Brick Road
And if we run into Little Boo Peep
We can help her find the sheep...

A love that's full of fun and fantasy
The way our love will always be
This you won't regret
'Cause I'll be your Romeo you'll be my Juliet

Alice in Wonderland
Jack and Jill holdin' hands
And every afternoon
We can watch the cow jump over the moon
And if it happens to get cold
We can take a walk down the Yellow Brick Road
No tellin' what we'll find
But I know, at the end of the line
You'll be my Fairy Tale Lover

Be my fairlytale lover
Be my fairlytale lover
Be my fairlytale lover

Love with me alone... in our fairy tale own town
We'll have a house built outta stone
... and no wolf will blow it down
Rainbows in the sky...
And our dreams will get us by...
And our love would never die...

A to Z Challenge - N

Have you recently seen the influx of photos online where a subject is being "photo-bombed" by someone or something else? Someone standing behind a photo's subject staring at the camera, making a face, or picking their noses!?

That is because the photographer did not pay attention to negative space!

If the space in a photo which is taken up by the subject is considered "positive space", that would mean that everything else is "negative space".

A photographer has to pay attention not only to his subject and positive space in a scene, but also to that negative space...because when you are least expecting it, some random walker-by or strange wires that appear to be growing out of a subject's head may appear as if they were never there!

Monday, April 15, 2013

A to Z Challenge - M

Today's M posting has been changed...


As you likely have heard, some evil, spineless, hate-monger/s preset several bombs in various trash cans within a block or two of the Boston Marathon finish line, two detonated killing three two (so far) and sending approximately 170! 80 to local hospitals.

I woke this morning with every intent to attend, taking my camera in to practice photographing people.  I even drove to the T, but found the lot full. Thank God. Rather than make the drive to another T station, I choose to head home and take pictures at the lake down the street. I was photographing a grave yard, unaware, when my phone rang...

Me: Hello?
Hubby: That's all I needed to hear...

I am extremely grateful tonight to say that I am alive and well, sitting in bed with the kitty, sadly watching the horrific news. Most of my friends have checked in, most specifically those who were working the marathon in various ways.  Everyone seems fine. I am very thankful...

My thoughts and prayers go out to those who were hurt and the families and friends of the dead.

God bless Boston.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A to Z Challenge - L

Understanding camera lenses can help add more creative control to digital photography. But choosing the right lens can be a task, with the varied options in cost, size, weight, lens speed and image quality.

The primary characteristic of a lens is its focal length, which is the distance between the point of convergence of light in your lens to the digital sensor or film in your camera. In layman's terms, the focal length of your lens essentially determines how ‘zoomed in’ your photos are; the higher the number, the more zoomed your lens will be.

Regular lenses have a fixed focal length (50mm, 85mm, 100mm), and reproduce fairly accurately what the human eye sees, 50mm being considered standard. Lenses with a shorter focal length (10-42mm) enable a photographer to capture a wider view and are therefore called wide-angle lenses. They are best for capturing landscapes. Telephoto lenses (100mm - 800mm) provide a narrower field of view, compressing the distance) and can be used to take photos of objects father away, such as wildlife and sporting events.

Keep in mind that lenses will also affect your depth of field. As you zoom into a subject, your depth of field decreases.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A to Z Challenge - K

In photography, the term keylight refers to the main light source in a shot that may cast predominant shadows. In theater, that keylight might be a spot light. But in photography, it could be the flash lighting, a lamp, or it could be the sun.

It is important to be aware of all of the lighting in your photograph subject because each one of them will affect the exposure of your photographs. For example, if you take a picture of a subject who's back is towards the sun, the sunlight will affect your light sensors and when you take the photo that subject will likely be under lit and dark because the camera thinks the subject is well lit due to the sunlight in your picture.

The way to work around these issues is to learn to utilize the light meter option on your camera. There are three types of meter options: matrix, centered, and spot. Matrix will cause your camera to take into account all light sources in your subject and determine how much light is needed based on that. Center weighted metering will choose a center point of your subject and do the same. The final option, spot metering, will allow you to choose what point or spot on your subject should be considered by your camera to make that determination.

In this photo, I was in matrix. Given the lighting in the room, the camera lit the picture based on what it thought was needed. Had I used the spot metering option, and chosen Kermit as my spot, I would have gotten a better exposed photo. Live and learn.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A to Z Challenge - J

Most tech savvy folks have heard of jpegs. They are, of course, one of several file types of digital images. Jpeg is actually an acronym for "joint photographic experts group", the group of experts who first created this standard for image compression.

There are many other kinds of image files, pngs, bmps, gifs, tiffs, etc., but jpegs are the most commonly used.  This method of compression tends to be larger, however, than some of these other types, which is why website builders often use these other types (they load faster online). 

Potential photographers need to keep in mind that jpeg files are pretty set, though. In order to change or adjust a jpeg image file, you must use Photoshop or some other program and the changes you make will affect the quality of your photograph. Many digital cameras will have an option to create jpegs in what is called "RAW" or a .nef file. Essentially, what that means is that the camera will create a file that is akin to old film negatives. These files are adjustable (and recoverable) without reducing the quality of your photograph! If you have not heard about shooting in RAW, check into it!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A to Z Challenge - I

ISO is the second major camera setting that a photographer can adjust to control exposure in their photographs. ISO is the digital equivalent of film speed (previously 100, 200, 400). The faster the ISO (or film speed) the more sensitive to light the camera is. 

Low ISOs will produce a more realistic, clean picture, particularly in darker picturesHigh ISOs are can be used to pick up more detail in a dark photograph, but the negative to that is that the higher the ISO the more the photo will appear less realistically bright. And, as your ISO increases, so does the grain of your photos (they call this "noise"). 

Many cameras just set an ISO themselves that you can work with, unless you want to play with this option.

Before I Go To Sleep - Watson

In Before I Go To Sleep: A Novel by S.J. Watson, Christine wakes every day to find herself in bed with a strange man. Every day he explains that he is her husband, Ben, and that he loves her very much despite her losing her memory every time she goes to sleep, due to an accident twenty years ago. She remembers who she is but recalls herself as a twenty-something, not the forty-something she has become. Christine seems to rely solely on her husband.

Except she doesn't. Behind Ben's back, she has been seeing a therapist who is trying to help her regain some of her lost memories. When he suggests she keep a diary and read it every day, and then calls her daily to remind her where it is hidden, Christine finally begins to remember missing bits. But what she is remembering does not make sense with Ben's explanations and Christine begins to wonder who she can trust, if not her own memory.

Unlike most books I read, this was a great thriller that draws you in from the first page and makes you want to finish just to know what happens. Course, when you do finish, you are bummed that the thrill-ride is over.  Definitely worth a read, even if its out of your comfort zone.

 3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 04/09/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

Blowin' In The Wind
Bob Dylan, Artist & Writer

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can really see the sky?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind. 

A to Z Challenge - H

A histogram is a graphic representation of the distribution of light. Some advanced digital cameras, many dSLRs for example, will show you a histogram of the exposure of your shot before you shoot.
By looking at a histogram, you can tell if you need to adjust your aperture, shutter speed, ISO or perhaps add additional lighting via flash or other lighting unit.
Source unknown...

Generally, the right side of histogram will be the highlight side and the left will be a the shadow side.